TeachersFirst Edge - Digital Storytelling

 

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Wattpad - Allen Lau & Ivan Yuen

Grades
10 to 12
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account...more
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Wattpad is storytelling redefined through an online story sharing community. Become part of the story experience by sharing your thoughts and comments as you read. Create your account to find recommended stories and view most shared by other Wattpad users. Choose a story and add it to your library to easily begin reading where you left off on any device. Add comments at the bottom of each page, or view comments left by other users. If you feel creative, add your own stories and enter writing contests offered in several different categories. Note: some material is labeled mature and should be monitored before sharing with students.

tag(s): creative writing (160), DAT device agnostic tool (173), ebooks (35), independent reading (121)

In the Classroom

Share Wattpad with students as a resource for free, online reading material. Caution is necessary with this site because it is completely open to the public. Be aware of what your district's restrictions are regarding this kind of activity. Depending on your circumstances and school district policies, this site might best be used under a teacher login. You can put models up on your interactive whiteboard for students to respond to either individually or as a class. You might have reactions to some of the stories or have students write their own critiques of the spotlighted work before sharing what others on the site have posted. Using Wattpad in class might also encourage students to seek out writing on their own and may encourage them to bring in their writing for their classmate's comments. This site might also be a good venue for students who work together on a high school literary magazine or for high school gifted students seeking writing mentors outside of the school community (with parent permission, of course).

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Twitter Fictional Account Template - Ryan O'Donnell

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a...more
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Create a "fake" Twitter account with this Google doc template. Upload images (use a Creative Commons or another copyright-safe picture) and create a username and mini-bio. Create a background for the wall and upload photos of known associates. As with any Google Doc, choose to share your creation in the upper right corner. See an example here. It is unfinished, so you can see how the directions are directly on the page, and you can get an idea of how it will look.

tag(s): book reports (34), creative writing (160), creativity (118), digital storytelling (141)

In the Classroom

Engage students in classroom learning with the Twitter Fictional Account Template. This site is terrific for creating interest in many subjects. In social studies, instead of a typical biographical report have students create a Twitter account page about their famous person. Write about presidents, founding fathers, famous scientists or artist, a civil war soldier, and much more. Create "followers" using other people associated with the main person who were famous at that time. You could use the "followers" boxes to create a mini-timeline. For the backgrounds of each user/follower, you could create a montage about what the person was famous for, or images from that period to establish a setting. Think about using the persons "nickname," if they have one, as their username. Use the Twitter template to outline the plot of a book, play, or film, and then share with students while studying the material. To use the Twitter template to study literature, create a page for the central character, book's author, or the setting of the book or play. Challenge students to use the template as an alternative for a book report. Have them present it orally, embellishing on each character's role in the book. For a unique twist in science class, make a Twitter template page for a periodic element or another science topic. In world language classes, have students do this activity (about themselves) in the second language they are learning. Create a Twitter template page for the first day of school to introduce yourself to students or at Open House for parents. Challenge students to create and share a page about themselves during the first week of school. Be sure to share a rubric with students for all expectations of what should be included on their page. Make the Twitter template one of the options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum. With no membership required, this tool is simple enough for younger gifted students who have parent permission to post work to the web. If your students aren't familiar with Twitter, or if you're looking for more ways to use Twitter in the classroom, read more about Twitter at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Adobe Spark - Adobe

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. Create attractive images, mini-websites, and narrated, animated videos. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (79), creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), microblogging (32)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Enhance or modify student learning (depending on the project requirement) by having students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Create a video to show a process, explain an experiment, or discuss data collected. Create a video montage of images taken in the classroom, during field trips, or club activities about happenings throughout the year. Flip your classroom using Spark presentations. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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SMS Generator - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking...more
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking either speech bubble will begin the text message, and click the other one to reply. Save the presentation with a password. Share via embed or QR code or URL.

tag(s): book reports (34), creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Engage students with what they know, text messaging! Inform students you will be creating a text conversation between two historical figures, fictional characters, scientists - anything from something the class is reading. On the whiteboard or with a projector display the SMS Generator. Show students how to use it by having them create the conversation. The text is not limited, but keep it reasonable. Besides using SMS Generator for presentations, it could be used to teach or refine social skills, practice writing in a new language, or explaining a math or science concept to a peer.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), ebooks (35), writing (362)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Enhance or modify student learning (depending on the project requirement) by having students create: a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. No matter the subject of the story, they all need to be planned before creating a book. Have students do this either with paper and pencil or try using a digital storyboard like the Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Buzzsprout - Tom Rossi

Grades
K to 12
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Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through...more
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Buzzsprout offers free, easy to use, podcast hosting. Sign up to receive two hours of hosting per month. Uploads remain available for 90 days. Buzzsprout's dashboard walks you through the process of creating and sharing podcasts and provides information on the time remaining in your current cycle. Copy and paste one line of code to include your podcast directly on any website. Attractive features include scheduling episodes for a specific date and time, adding links, lists, chapter markers, and a "Support the show" link to your podcasts.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (58)

In the Classroom

Even if you aren't ready to create podcasts, share the How To Make a Podcast page with your students with excellent tips for creating any type of speaking presentation. Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki to read in class AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning by building fluency and recording selected passages for your non-readers. Don't forget to have them listen and critique their podcast! Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News." Have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages and listening to themselves. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing a video camera.

Comments

The podcasting 101 information is incredibly helpful for anyone wishing to begin podcasting. It also establishes tips that can be helpful for any speaker (as the description says). Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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radionomy - Radionomy Group

Grades
K to 12
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Run your own radio station with radionomy! radionomy allows you to create, produce and share your personalized station free with your own music or their library of popular music and...more
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Run your own radio station with radionomy! radionomy allows you to create, produce and share your personalized station free with your own music or their library of popular music and podcasts. Add personalized shout outs, voice-overs, interviews, or any audio to make your unique broadcast. Broadcast live or use the 24/7 "scheduler" to keep your station running on air at all times. Be sure to check out radionomy's Quick Guide for more information on all of the available features.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), journalism (63), podcasts (58), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Enjoy making a live radio show from your classroom! Publish written pieces of writing, science reports, social studies reports, and any other reports you would like to share. Create a new book review podcast for the media center. Link to your podcast URL on your class website, and publish directions to projects, explanations of difficult concepts, or even a radio show with you reading your favorite books for your students. Have upper elementary students take turns reading aloud for a podcast aimed at little reading buddies in kindergarten. Allow students to podcast to "pen pals" in faraway places. Record your school choir, orchestra group, poetry club, or drama club doing their best work or dramatic readings of Shakespeare soliloquies. Take your school newspaper to a new level with recorded radio articles. Be sure to include interviews with students, teachers, principals, parents, authors, artists, and almost anyone. In younger grades, use to save an audio portfolio of reading fluency, expression, or as an aid for running records. Do this regularly throughout the year to analyze growth. Have fun at Halloween with your Halloween station filled with favorite spooky stories, or during the December holidays with stories from different cultures. Welcome your students to a new school year by sending them your message. Create messages for classmates who move away. Bring your world language classes an extra resource of your pronunciations whenever they need more practice. ESL/ELL and special education classes can often benefit from the additional explanations, practice, and elaborated instructions given at their own pace. The possibilities are endless!

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My Storybook - myStorybook.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started ...more
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Get into digital storytelling by creating a colorful short story with the tools offered at My Storybook. There is a basic tutorial when you click Create a Storybook. Get started using clipart from My Storybook, upload your images, or use their draw tools to create your own artwork. Click the text box and change the font, font color, and size. Add more text and pages for your book, too. Saving and sharing require an email address. Share by sending the URL to several social networking sites or via email. There is a way to create an ebook or PDF, but those options aren't free. Read storybooks created by others by clicking the menu icon and then Library at the top.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Show students creation possibilities by viewing a few of the books from the library using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a class book to begin. Start with a storyboard. If you usually do this with pen and paper, replace these and use an online tool such as Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here. Using a storyboard and My Storybook is an effective way to teach students about story elements, dialogue, character development, and more. World language classes can label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Challenge students to tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using My Storybook. Art students can create a story around their artwork. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create stories demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Digital storytelling is an amazing way for students to internalize any subject or concept. It also is an excellent assessment tool.

Comments

Gretchen, FL, Grades: 3 - 8

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Seesaw - Charles Lin, Carl Sjogreen , Adrian Graham

Grades
K to 10
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Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from ...more
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Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from teachers and parents. Create a class blog in your Seesaw for students to write blog posts. Teachers create an account with email and then start creating as many classes as needed. There is no limit on the number of students a class can have. Give students a "join" code for their class, and they sign up from there, choosing to access their account through a Seesaw generated QR code or their email. Teachers can enable or disable student likes, comments, and editing. Blog post and comments must have teacher approval before becoming public. Students will be able to reflect on their work with a voice recording or text, and can share artifacts from their portfolio by clicking the red button at the bottom of the screen and then either print or get the item QR code. Once you have an account, click Help & Teacher Resources to find Getting Started Tips, Tutorial Videos, FAQs, and Activity Ideas grouped by grade level. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorials may not be viewable.

tag(s): blogs (79), DAT device agnostic tool (173), digital storytelling (141), portfolios (23)

In the Classroom

Sign up for Seesaw and generate a join code for the class from the menu at the upper right corner or by clicking your name or initials in the left corner to get a drop down menu. The join code expires in 15 minutes, so it is best to do this in your classroom or computer lab. Teachers can add photos, drawings, links, notes, and upload a file from this same menu by clicking the + symbol. You can even add a co-teacher! See Seesaw's FAQs for ways for parents to sign up and letters to send home. Use Seesaw portfolios for any subject or grade level. Once your account is set up, create a simple project or borrow one from the Activities on the Help and Teacher Resources page. Share the project on your interactive whiteboard or projector to get your students started. The teacher portal allows you to access and comment on student work. View the work of an individual or the entire class. The ability to import work from many creation apps to Seesaw makes this a perfect portfolio tool. Don't forget to watch the video about setting up blogs for your students. Remember, this is all free! Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports, take photos of their labs and label them in a portfolio. History teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing or digital storytelling projects. Seesaw is the perfect tool to use during parent conferences.

Comments

I love using Seesaw with my elementary school students. It's great that parents can comment also. Katy, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Odyssey - CartoDB

Grades
6 to 12
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides,...more
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Build interactive, map-based stories without coding skills using the Odyssey open source library. Click Create Story to begin and follow the prompts to choose a template for slides, scrolling, or an animated story template. Add story content, images, links, and more within the "sandbox." When finished, publish directly to GetHub, download, or share as iFrame to embed directly into your blog or website.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), gamification (81), images (268), interactive stories (31), maps (295)

In the Classroom

Most users will find a bit of a learning curve to working with Odyssey, click on the three bars on the left top of the home page to find the Quick Start Guide tutorial for using the site. Share this site with tech-savvy students so that they can become experts and help others become familiar with using the site. Use Odyssey for creating map-based stories based on works of literature, important events in history, or mapping scientific discoveries. Odyssey is perfect for use with gifted students when creating multimedia presentations.

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Breaking News Generator - Russell Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter,...more
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Design professional looking front pages for a newspaper with this tool. Simply fill in the pertinent information (headline, date, place, and more) and an image. Share via URL, Twitter, or download to your computer. There is also the ability to save a blank template. Be sure to view the several samples available, and click on the little question mark at the end of the title to see ideas for use of this tool. No registration is necessary.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), images (268), newspapers (101)

In the Classroom

Assess students prior knowledge by creating a Breaking News piece to introduce a new unit. Replace paper and pencil and ask students to fill in an interactive KWL chart from Holt, reviewed here, or discuss in small groups what they know about the topic. Transform student learning by using in presentation slides by downloading the image from your computer. Then upload the image to a slide presentation creator such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Suggest to students that they do the same for their presentations. Use as a timeline of events for lab experiment, a novel study, historical event, and more. You might want to think about using this tool as a storyboard for digital storytelling; printing blank templates would work well for storyboarding.

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Slidestory - Audio Slideshows & Podcasting (Beta) - Slidestory

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Create a slideshow with voice narrations and images at Slidestory. Download the free slideshow publisher and begin. Publish your work on the site or join an online group to share ...more
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Create a slideshow with voice narrations and images at Slidestory. Download the free slideshow publisher and begin. Publish your work on the site or join an online group to share your work. Find answers to questions in the forum. Find examples of projects on the site categorized by subject. Join the RSS feed to stay up with the latest creations. Under support, find detailed information about each part of this process. When finished, save the file on your computer, publish to the Slidestory site, or copy the embeddable code to post it on your website. There is no need to download Slidestory if you only want to view the examples and selections.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), podcasts (58), slides (52)

In the Classroom

Use SlideStory in all areas of your classroom life. Have each student substitute paper and pen and manila folders to collect work and ideas in an electronic portfolio for use during the year. Suggested online portfolios are Seesaw, reviewed here, for K-6 students, and bulb, reviewed here, for older students. Have students use Slidestory when writing reading responses. Discover a new format for publishing writing of any genre: narrative, expository, or persuasive. Begin digital storytelling in an easy, simple way with all you need. Become a character from a story and retell the story in that character's words. Have students record lessons of them teaching content to other students. Record your lessons for your blended learning or flipped classroom. Record directions of a big project that your class has and publish it on your website for student reference. Choose a character or period of history and create a memory book. Have students describe their futures in a leadership presentation. Have students make study guides for content review.

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Google Tours of America: A Narrative History - W.W. Norton

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find tours that follow major themes and events throughout US History. This tool is accessible and useful for anyone teaching or interested in history! The tours include the Revolutionary...more
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Find tours that follow major themes and events throughout US History. This tool is accessible and useful for anyone teaching or interested in history! The tours include the Revolutionary War, the path to the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam War, Civil Rights Movement, Lewis & Clark's expedition, the Indian Removal Act, Pre-Columbian North America, the national parks system, and the 20th Century power grid. To use the tours, first be sure that you have Google Earth installed on computers. Click the tour you are interested in to download the kmz file (this is the file that Google Earth uses to bring all the information into Google Earth). Double click this file. Google Earth opens, and you will find all the files for the tour under the Temporary Places. Images and information are found in the Tour Guide pane under the globe in Google Earth. Click on each item to view the resource at each point of the tour. All of the tours include multiple images and references. Some also include tour questions for students to answer. Are you new to Google Earth? Find information about this resource, reviewed here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (88), civil rights (124), civil war (145), electricity (96), lewis and clark (17), national parks (23), native americans (80), vietnam (34), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Introduce this resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the kmz file with students on a class website or blog. Use this fantastic alternative instead of slides to present a lesson on US History. Use these resources before teaching the specifics of the unit or throughout to enhance the content learned in class. The history lessons have more impact using Google Earth and putting the locations in perspective. Employ this resource as a model of creating effective tours using Google Earth. Assign student projects using Google Earth to redefine learning and create a tour using files and resources found during their research, employing these resources as an example.

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100 Word Challenge - J. Skinner

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, ...more
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The 100 Word Challenge provides weekly prompts and will publish your writing to an audience. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. So, write 100 words in response to the prompt on your blog, and then send the URL for the entry to 100 Word Challenge. There is a page with screen shots telling you exactly when they release the Challenges and how to get them published. Be sure to read the information about Team 100 WC, since you must have at least one adult volunteer to make a comment (100 words or less). It is also important for you read Allowing Comments on Your Blog Posts. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics.

tag(s): blogs (79), digital storytelling (141)

In the Classroom

Share the weekly prompts on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Replace paper and pencil writing journals and have students respond to the prompt on your classroom blog. If you teach younger students or resource students, you may want to apply to the 5 Sentence Challenge, instead of the 100 Word Challenge. They are both available at the same URL. The benefits of participating in a blog like this go beyond just writing. Submitting your students' writing to either of these Challenge blogs will provide the all-important publish piece that students need in order to feel accomplished and to do their best. They can also build cultural understanding through reading the responses from others to the same prompt. If you would like your students to write their blogs more than once a week, you might want to visit Thought Questions, reviewed here.

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Twine - Chris Klimas

Grades
6 to 12
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click...more
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Create interactive fiction (choose your own adventure) type stories, poems, games, and interactive art with Twine. Start by either downloading the software to your computer or click on "use it online" just under the download button. Twine helps you stay organized with little Post-It type squares with arrows to connect each section to one or more other sections. See how to do this by watching this short YouTube video, here. Drag and drop the squares on the page, and they will stay connected. There are a few templates to choose from, and you can upload images. For those who are adept at programming, click on Wiki and see the other quality, development resources Twine offers. Work is saved in your browser, not on a server. That means there is no sign-in or sign-up, but it also means losing your work unless you remember to click on the Archive button. Click on the Twine Wiki for FAQs, Vimeo Tutorial Videos, and other helpful information. On YouTube watch several video tutorials. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): coding (76), computers (99), creative writing (160), game based learning (146), interactive stories (31), writing (362)

In the Classroom

View the Getting Started tutorials together on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) before students begin to write stories. Also, be sure to have the tutorials as a link on class computers and your class webpage. Create a short story together as a class to become familiar with the site. Have students create a story diagram before beginning a story on Twine; then use the site to complete the project. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Twine to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Using this tool in a computer programming class would be ideal. Going to either Wiki, FAQ, or Forum will show you other development resources such as custom macros, stylesheets, code references, and so forth. Teachers of gifted could use this for students to develop elaborate fictional or informational pieces. Again, a graphic organizer for planning and organizing evidence is a must!

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The Peanut Gallery - Google Creative Lab

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure ...more
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Use this Chrome extension and your computer's microphone to add words to silent movies with The Peanut Gallery. Scroll through film choices and then choose one to begin. Be sure to allow the site to get access to your computer's microphone. Once you say something and the site recognizes your speech, begin speaking to add text to the film. When finished, re-watch your movie with your text or share using the URL or social networking links. See the About page to learn how the idiom Peanut Gallery originated.

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), interactive stories (31), movies (66)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to create their silent movie project practicing summarizing, use of adjectives, or short story writing. Have groups of students provide text with the same movie then share to compare different storytelling techniques.

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Sway - Microsoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your...more
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Use Sway to create interactive presentations across all devices. Drag and drop content from your device, social networks, and the web directly onto your Sway canvas. Log in using your Microsoft account to begin or create a new account using your email and a password. Add content to your storyline using links to add text, images, and media. Change the look of your Sway using the Mood and Remix tools to change the color palette, layout, and fonts. When finished, click the Share button for options to share to Facebook, Twitter, URL, or copy the embed code. Sway will work on any device with a modern Internet browser and an Internet connection. They also have an iOS app. The introduction video and tutorials are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), Microsoft (60), multimedia (50), slides (52), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Use Sway as an alternative to Prezi or PowerPoint presentations. Sway is perfect for use in your BYOD or 1:1 classroom. Use during your presentations to increase student interest and interaction. Check understanding of your ESL/ELL students by having them respond or pose questions throughout the presentation. Modify or enhance student learning and understanding by sharing with students for them to use during their own presentations, inviting other students to comment and answer questions. During Open House night with parents, demonstrate how Sway provides interaction. Use Sway during professional development presentations to invite discussions from colleagues.

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Word Writer - BoomWriter

Grades
2 to 8
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting...more
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Develop vocabulary through interactive activities with a 21st Century twist! This interactive offered by BoomWriter, reviewed here, offers an exciting vocabulary development application useful in all content areas. Choose specific words to incorporate into a writing project. Specify a word limit and list any other guidelines desired. You can create a story or sentences to submit. WordWriter then tracks the use of selected words and checks off each vocabulary word typed. After submission and approval of all writing projects, WordWriter offers the option for an anonymous peer review portion of the process and members vote for the piece they feel best uses the vocabulary. Another great feature of the program is vocabulary word crowdsourcing. You can see the most popular words for a particular grade added by other teachers from around the world!

tag(s): creative writing (160), digital storytelling (141), interactive stories (31), vocabulary (311), vocabulary development (117)

In the Classroom

Use this site to excite students as writers while still incorporating classroom goals of vocabulary development. Encourage students to read other students' writing for ideas about what makes a story interesting. Create a friendly competition within your grade level by starting a book and choosing a winner. Create new books in any content area and use for review throughout the year.

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StoryMap JS - Northwest University Knight Lab

Grades
7 to 12
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this ...more
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Make your story-telling come to life in any content area with this free tool! Story Map uses a map or pictures to tell the story. The simple editor in this tool syncs to Google Drive editor to create a storymap. The created storymap is a sequence of slides for a map location or image that includes a heading, text, and even images and embedded video. The map or image and included information appear side by side. You can click between the slides connecting one location to another (or portions of an image to another). Your story is now interactive! To use: Follow the prompts to connect your Google Drive to the tool. Choose the type of story to create, Map or Gigapixel (image). Don't worry about the map image showing on the first page. When building a map, the front page will include the portion of the World Map based on map points throughout the project (ex. USA or Europe). Add a headline and detail to the appropriate areas. Include links and change font to bold and italic if desired. Add images to any page by uploading from your computer (through Google Drive) or by entering a link to an image. Enter the URL of the Vimeo or YouTube video you wish to use. Need help? Click on the Gigapixel tab along the top for help in uploading images and videos. The Media box not only has an area for the URL, but also an area to enter a caption and credit for the image. Add additional pages by clicking "Add Slide" in the left-hand menu. Add points to your map, one per slide, by typing the building, street, city, and country. Use the zoom bar in the top left to find the location. Customize the map style, background color, and font using the Options buttons. Click Share to send through social media or to use an embed code. The embed code can be used in any site, adjusting its width for different sites. If using Gigapixel, use a large image (as the image will literally be the "map" and your points move around the image). Save your image to Google Drive and copy the URL of the image as you will need it in the first step.

tag(s): maps (295), timelines (59)

In the Classroom

Be sure to stress Fair Use and Copyright with students when using online images and crediting sources. Find great resources and information on TeachersFirst. Of course, if possible use your own images. In Science, use this tool to upload a picture of a science experiment from class and retell the story of the "experiment" by connecting with each of the individual parts of the image. In a Technology class, use this tool to create a project of anything that could be considered "mappable." Some examples include a timeline tour of an event, tour routes of a favorite band, the movement of a character in a movie or novel, or various events in a War. Find various shapes in nature and buildings for a Geometry class, showing their locations in a map. This tool would be wonderful for gifted students to showcase an interest or extend learning from a concept learned in class. Use this tool to trace the history of various recipes or ingredients in a Family and Consumer Science class. Trace the history of people, religions, and events. In Science, create a tour of various animals found in specific areas of a given biome or locations of various types of rocks and their information around the world.

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Stampsy - Roman Mazurenko

Grades
5 to 12
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Stampsy is a web-based community platform for sharing stories and experiences. Construct units of content with a variety of images, text, video, and audio. Tell your own story. Use...more
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Stampsy is a web-based community platform for sharing stories and experiences. Construct units of content with a variety of images, text, video, and audio. Tell your own story. Use the Collect feature to save, repost, or merge images from any other user alongside your own content to spin new stories. Quickly sign up to create an account using email. You can also link through popular social networking sites.

tag(s): blogs (79), organizational skills (108), portfolios (23), social networking (94)

In the Classroom

Use Stampsy to create collections of images, videos, and more for any teaching unit. Share examples of different types of geography, collections of plants or animals, examples of literature - the possibilities are endless! As you gather lesson ideas and create your unit, use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create differentiated lesson activities for your students. Have students create a Stampsy collection as an alternative to traditional types of presentations. Create a class account and have students add materials to a Stampsy to use with any unit. Share with students to use as an online portfolio for college applications.

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